Here are 10 must-read books, suitable for bean connoisseurs, industry insiders, coffee geeks and those that simply love to wake up to the smell of a freshly roasted cup of Joe. These books are available at most national bookstores, online and in NOOK eBook Reader format.
1. The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting and Drinking, with Recipes by James Freeman
Suitable for everyone from beginners to geeks and professionals, The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee discusses coffee in all its aspects, “from farm to cup.” It includes tutorials, covering how to roast the beans and brew the perfect cup using a variety of methods. As the author says, “Making an espresso is a performance that lasts ninety seconds and then you’re done.” So take the time to do it right. It also includes 30 recipes that use coffee in baking, like Coffee Panna Cotta.
Author James Freeman is the founder of Blue Bottle, one of the country’s leading artisan roasters. His wife Caitlin, a nationally known pastry cook, provided the recipes.
2. God in a Cup: the Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee by Michaele Weissman
Trying to figure out who would pay $100 for a pound of coffee? Wonder about the geeks and pros that lead the artisan coffee field? God in a Cup: the Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee will fill you in on the personalities in this highly specialized area of the coffee industry. The author shares the stories of the people at Counter Culture, Intelligentsia, Stump-town and more.
Michaele Weissman is a freelance journalist and skilled home cook who has written several books. Her articles are regularly published in the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
3. The World Atlas of Coffee: from Beans to Brewing by James Hoffman
The World Atlas of Coffee: from Beans to Brewing is for both coffee drinkers and industry professionals. Author James Hoffman said of his reason for writing the book, “I wanted to make more coffee accessible rather than make it more mysterious and exclusive.” The books is a global tour, complete with numerous maps, exploring who grows which types of beans, who consumes it, and the cultures involved.
James Hoffman co-founded Square Mile Coffee Roasters in London and is the blogger on Jimseven.
4. Everything But Espresso by Scott Rao
If the science of brewing the ultimate cup of coffee interests you, this is the book to read. Divided into three parts, it starts with coffee extraction and moves on to how to use different brew methods and the importance of using the best water and storing beans the right way.
Scott Rao, a coffee consultant since 1992, became an author with a goal, “These books are my attempt to give baristas what I had been missing all those years,” when all he could find were coffee books that were descriptive but not practical and relevant for those in the profession.
5. Coffee Life in Japan by Merry White
Japan embraced coffee in the early 1900s. In fact, this interest is what helped to establish the coffee industry in Brazil. The author looks at Japan’s fascination with the brew in terms of social change, pleasure, the uses of public space and how cafes have influenced Japanese culture. In turn, their coffee rituals are impacting the way people in North America and Europe enjoy their coffee.
Merry White has a PhD from Harvard University in Sociology and was Director of the Project on Human Potential at Harvard Graduate School of Education in the 1980s.
6. The Infinite Emotions of Coffee by Alon Y. Halevy
Interested in how coffee has shaped the lives of individuals in cultures around the world? Check out The Infinite Emotions of Coffee. For example, one story tells about the Cup of Excellence awards, the Oscars of Coffee, in Brazil. “Claudio Carneiro Pinto, the owner of Grota Sao Pedro, an organic farm in Minas Gerais, was now being showered with admiration typically reserved in this country for goal-scoring soccer heroes.” The author tells the coffee story with romance and passion.
Alon Y. Halevy, a former professor of computer science and engineering and currently executive director of the Recruit Institute of Technology in the San Francisco area, is fascinated with the lore of coffee.
7. The East India Company Book of Coffee by Antony Wild
The East India Company Book of Coffee gives caffeine lovers a comprehensive look at the fascinating history of coffee. The author explores the origins of popular blends, the varied methods that have developed for brewing it and how different cultures like to drink theirs.
Antony Wild, a leading British expert on tea and coffee, is an author and broadcaster who has travelled to many of the countries where both are grown.
8. The Birth of Coffee by Daniel Lorenzetti and Linda Rice Lorenzetti
The Birth of Coffee looks at the impact coffee has had around the world. With 100 duotone photos (toned using coffee), this book explores the world’s favorite beverage in all its complexity, from the places and people who grow it to the big business that brings it to market. After reading it, you’ll never consider it a simple cup of coffee again.
Daniel Lorenzetti is a documentary photographer, explorer and author. He is married to co-author Linda Rice Lorenzetti, Editorial Director of The Image Expedition and author.
9. Espresso Coffee, the Science of Quality edited by Andrea Illy and Rinantonio Viani
If the technology of coffee is your thing, you’ll want Espresso Coffee, the Science of Quality on your bookshelf. Relying on the work of experts, it looks at the chemistry and advanced technology available for espresso. Starting from the beginning, it deals with farming methods and green coffee processing and moves on to how to roast, grind, package and brew.
Andrea Illy is the CEO of illycaffe, a worldwide coffee business. Rinantonio Viani works at Nestle Research Laboratories in Switzerland.
10. 33 Cups of Coffee published by David Selden
After learning so much about the daily grind, here is your chance to record your own coffee experiences. 33 Cups of Coffee, suitable for baristas and other professionals, as well as coffee lovers who appreciate a good cup, is just 3.5” x 5”. It is made to be filled out quickly and easily, with a checklist for the brew method, a flavor wheel, places for when and where you analyzed your cup, notes and rating.
David Selden, owner of publishing house 33 Books Co., his one-man operation, specializes in tasting maps for a range of consumables, including wine, beer and whisky, and of course, coffee.
Featured photo credit: bbAAER via pixabay.com